It’s tempting to try to remove skin tags at home—and the Internet offers a wide range of DIY skin tag removal tricks—but it’s not worth risking the trauma to your skin. Removing them yourself can cause bleeding, scarring, and even infection, potentially causing problems that are much more concerning than the skin tags themselves. Plus skin tags can be confused for other skin conditions, like seborrheic keratosis.
There’s a lot of advice online about home remedies for skin tags, and much of it isn’t correct. Let’s debunk.
- You can’t use wart remover to freeze off a skin tag. Wart remover is designed to treat hard, tougher skin, and it could lead to scarring when used on the softer tags.
- Tea tree oil is also not a good removal option. In high concentrations, it could cause irritation or an allergic reaction, especially if used around the eye area.
- So far, there’s no evidence that apple cider vinegar removes skin tags. Since it could lead to pigmentation changes, scarring, or even chemical burns, be cautious if you decide to try it.
- If the growth is very small, you may be able to remove the skin tag with dental floss by wrapping it around the tag and cutting off its blood flow, but it’s best for an expert to give you the green light. Doing this on a larger tag can cause bleeding.
- You can find skin tag removal patches at drugstores and online; they typically use ingredients such as salicylic acid to remove layers of the skin tag. So far, there’s no medical evidence that they work.
- Other intensive methods of exfoliation, such as chemical peels and dermabrasion, will not shrink or remove tags. They’re more likely to irritate the tag and the surrounding skin.
In most cases, your best bet is to see a board-certified dermatologist, especially to remove skin tags on sensitive areas, like the eyelids.